A Menu of Reference Models for the Academic Library
This post from the Chronicle of Higher Education Blog discusses the newest in a continually increasing menu of reference models that librarians can choose to employ, either as supplement to, or replacement of, the traditional information desk or “counter service” model (to use the dining service metaphors that author Brian Mathews seems fond of in his blog entry). This newest reference model would allow patrons in the library to send a signal to the librarian on duty that they need assistance, much as diners in a Brazilian restaurant signal their waiters to bring them more food! This model could perhaps be implement with a small chat or call button loaded onto all library computers. The librarian would receive the signal and then go to the patron, rather than having the patron come to them! Mathews hypothesizes some challenges that this model could pose to librarians and library service in his blog entry. However, he is also optimistic about the impact that this model could have on students: “In fact it might actually be more intuitive and comfortable to them [students] than approaching a desk. It gives them control, instead of us.”
Let us know what you think!!